Endeavour goes to court to end strike at Burkina Faso gold mine

30th January 2024 By: Bloomberg

An Endeavour Mining unit filed a lawsuit in a bid to end a strike in Burkina Faso that’s disrupted operations at the company’s second-biggest gold mine.

The subsidiary that runs the Hounde project initiated proceedings in a Burkinabe court on January 26 to “highlight the illegality” of the “unplanned work stoppage” that began five days earlier, according to an internal company memo sent to employees on Saturday.

The strike is the latest setback for the London-based miner. Endeavour has slumped 18% this year, as Sébastien de Montessus was fired as chief executive officer on January 4 over alleged “serious misconduct” and irregularities tied to the sale of a company asset. The ousted boss has said he wasn’t given an opportunity to “make proper representations” before the decision was announced.

The Endeavour unit is seeking an injunction from a court in the city of Bobo-Dioulasso, according to the memo, signed by Hounde’s general manager, Adama Savadogo. Some workers have been summoned to appear before the court, with a decision expected on Monday, the memo said.

A spokesman for Endeavour didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

Hounde — 250 kilometers (155 miles) southwest of Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou — accounted for almost 30% of the 1.1-million ounces of gold produced by Endeavour last year. The mine’s output is expected to decline 7% to 290 000 ounces in 2024. The company also operates assets in Senegal and Ivory Coast.

The Burkina Faso government sent a delegation to the mine to “facilitate talks between the workers and the company,” a spokesman at the country’s mining ministry said by phone from Ouagadougou. “If the conflict drags on it could impact Burkina’s gold output,” he said.